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message to the speaker of the house of commons, requesting " that he, with the knights and burgesses of the nether house, would without delay adjourn to the upper house, to give their assents in a matter of the utmost importance.” When the commons were assembled in the house of lords, silence being proclaimed, lord chancellor Heath addressed the united senate in these words :
" The cause of your summons hither at this time, is to signiíy to you, that all the lords here present are certainly certified that God this morning hath called to his mercy our late sovereign lady, queen Mary; which hap, as it is most heavy and grievous to us, so have we no less cause, otherwise, to rejoice with praise to Almighty God for leaving to us a true, lawful, and right inheritrix to the crown of this realm, which is the lady Elizabeth, second daughter to our late sovereign, of noble memory, Henry VIII., and sister to our said late queen, of whose most lawful right and title to the crown, thanks be to God, we need not doubt.
“ Albeit the parliament, (house of commons,) by the heavy accident of queen Mary's death did dissolve,? yet, as they had been elected to represent the common people of the realm, and to deal for them in matters of state, they could no way better discharge that trust than in joining with the lords in publishing the next succession to the crown.: Wherefore the lords of this house have determined, with your assents and consents, to pass from hence into the palace, and there to proclaim the lady Elizabeth queen of this realm, without any further tract of time.” "God save queen Elizabeth!" was the response of the lords and commons to the speech of their lord chancellor; “Long may queen Elizabeth reign over us!”—“And
adds our chronicle," was this parliament dissolved by the act of God.” Thus, through the wisdom and patriotism of the lord chancellor of England, was the title of queen Elizabeth rendered indisputable, for her first proclamation and recognition were rendered most solemn acts of parliament.
All the important acts of the united houses of parliament respecting the recognition of queen Elizabeth, were completed before the clock struck twelve that 17th of November. The lords, with the heralds, then entered the palace of The young
1 Holinshed, vol. ii. p. 1784; first edition, 1577. ? Such was the law of the realm till the 7th and 8th years of William III., cap. 15, which enacted that parliament should sit for six months, if not sooner dissolved by the reigning monarch.
• Hayward's Annals of Elizabeth, Camden Society, p. 2. The important speech of lord chancellor Heath is conjointly preserved in Hayward and Holinshed. Drake's Parliamentary History, after quoting the journals of the house, indignantly points out Rapin's deliberate falsification on this point of history.
* Holinshed, vol. ü. p. 1784.
Westminster, and directly before its hall door, after several solemn soundings of trumpets, the new queen was proclaimed “ Elizabeth, by the grace of God queen of England, France, and Ireland, and defender of the faith," &c. duke of Norfolk, as earl-marshal, accompanied by several bishops and nobles, then went into the city, where they met the lord mayor and civic authorities, and the heralds proclaimed queen Elizabeth at the cross of Cheapside. In the afternoon all the city bells rang, bonfires were lighted, ale and wine distributed, and the populace invited to feast at tables put out at the doors of the rich citizens,—all sigus of mourning for the deceased queen being entirely lost in joy for the accession of her sister. So passed the first day of the reign of Elizabeth,-a day which came to cheer with hope a season of universal tribulation and misery; for, besides the inquisitorial cruelties of Bonner, which had proved plague sufficient to the London citizens, it was a time of famine and of pestilence more universal than the plague, which usually confined its ravages to great cities. Many thousands had, in the autumn of 1558, fallen victims to a fever called a quotidian ague, but which was, doubtless, a malignant ty. phus. It carried off so many country people, that the harvest rotted on the ground for want of hands. Great numbers of ecclesiastics and thirteen bishops died in the course of four months of this fever, and to this circumstance the facile change of religion, which took place directly, may partly be attributed.
While these important scenes were transacting in her senate and metropolis, the new sovereign remained, probably out of respect to her sister's memory, in retirement at Hatfield; her proclamation did not take place there till the 19th, when it was made before the gates of Hatfield-house. In the same day and hour, however, in which her accession to the regal office was announced to her, she entered upon the high and responsible duties of a vocation, for which few princesses possessed such eminent qualifications as herself. The privy council repaired to the new queen at Hatfield,